The luxury cruise ship Freewinds with about 300 passengers on board has been quarantined in port of St. Lucia after a crew member or passenger (the reports are contradictory) was diagnosed with measles. That news would not be funny – however, it gets positively hilarious when we learn that the ship is linked to the Church of Scientology (CoS) and currently packed with its members.
Scientology is legally recognized as a tax-exempt religion in the US and other countries. The CoS emphasizes the harmful effects of drugs, toxins and chemicals that, according to the CoS, lodge in the body and create a biochemical barrier to spiritual well-being. Many scientologists are anti-vaccination, and some prominent opponents of vaccinations, including Kirstie Alley and Jenna Elfman, are Scientologists.
The CoS’s also promotes the “Purification Rundown” (“Purif” for short) and the closely related Narconon detox programmes. They consist of regular exercise, sauna and nutrition, with industrial doses of vitamins and minerals added for good measure. Both programmes were developed by L Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). He taught his followers that, at their core, humans contain a “thetan”. After creating the universe, thetans accidentally became trapped in physical bodies and, through scientology, we can restore the immortal, omnipotent, god-like powers of the “thetan” within us.
The Freewinds plays an important spiritual role for Scientologists, according to the CoS. Passengers receive training in the CoS’s spiritual practice. The ship is staffed by members of the CoS’s Sea Organization. The Sea Organization is a religious order for the Scientology religion and is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists individuals who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion. The Sea Organization is a fraternal religious order and is not incorporated. Members of the Sea Organization are therefore wholly responsible to the Church of Scientology to which they are assigned and are responsible, as are all other staff, to officers and directors of that Church.
To a member of the CoS, boarding the Freewinds for New OT VIII is the pinnacle of a deeply spiritual journey. Years of training and auditing have brought him to this ultimate point. It is the most significant spiritual accomplishment of his lifetime and brings with it the full realization of his immortality, the CoS’s website says.
The ship doctor has now vaccinated all previously non-vaccinated crew and passengers and is currently monitoring the situation.